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How To Create A Sticky Blog – Part One

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What is a sticky blog?

 

I know, it sounds a bit weird doesn’t it? A sticky blog? What bloggers mean by this term is a blog that makes the reader want to stick around.  They will read one post, then will see something else and click on that, maybe visiting a couple of posts before they leave your blog.  Then, and this is the key, they will RETURN in the future to read more content.

 

Why is this important? Well if you think of it in terms of a numbers game, you can either attract thirty new people who maybe only visit your blog once or you can attract one person who visits regularly and you will end up with the same page views.  Taking it a step further, what if you attracted the same thirty people, but you gave them a reason to stick around and return; they would give you a vast growth in page views.  Remember it is easier to get people to stick around and return, than come to your blog in the first place. You already have them there on your blog, you just need to know how to make it hard for them to leave.   Also the added benefit of a blog where people will click from one post to another before they leave, is that this will lower your bounce rate (bounce rate is the measure of people who click on a post and leave the website, without navigating further into the site).

 

How to make your blog sticky

 

Still with me?  O.K, so how do you create a sticky blog?  Here are some tips and tricks;

 

  • Strong headline/tagline

People need to identify with what you are offering on your blog and be clear from the first few seconds of arriving what it is all about.  If you have a strong blog name and explanatory tag line it will make it easier for readers to remember you and come back.

 

  • Have a conversation with your reader

Talk to your reader like you are having a conversation with a friend. People like to be talked to, not talked at, and although this style maybe difficult to achieve online, it is something that is worth the effort.  It will help to get people engaged in what you have to say, as if it was a two way conversation, meaning they will want to return.

 

  • Show your personality

There are so many bloggers out there and to a certain extent we will all talk about the same thing. There is only so many ways that people can reframe content and so the only thing that is really uniquely you, is your personality. People are attracted to other people and if you show your personality it will help people to decide to invest in you (and consequently return to your blog).

 

  • Make it personal 

In the previous point, I advised showing your personality in order to build great relationships with your readers, which will turn them into repeat visitors.  However, you have to go one step further and make your blog personal by sharing your story.  You will affect people much more if they feel they know you in some way.

 

  • Blog Design

To me, this is one of the most important factors in whether you hook a reader in enough that they want to return or not.  An attractive blog, well laid out, will no doubt be a much nicer place to be.

 

  • Post layout

Make it easy for people to read your posts.  Use images to break up text, use a clean background and a modern plain font.  White space can be used between paragraphs to help break up posts.  I find there is nothing more off putting than a huge block of text, with no space or divisions of any sort; I will rarely read a post like this.  Posts that are scannable will go down well.

 

  • Suggest further reading

When people get to the bottom of a post they have a decision to make, they either head for the X to close the window, browse to a different site or click on something else on your blog.  To help your readers to make the right decision (:) ) suggest further reading for them. You can either do this by a personally curated list of posts added to the bottom of each post or by the use of a plugin such a Related Posts or Shareaholic (which does lots more than just this).  You can also add a fly in box (like mine), which should nudge it’s way into the bottom right hand corner when people are nearing the bottom of the post.

 

  • Share your popular posts in your sidebar

Why not create a little slider into your sidebar with rotating images highlighting your most popular posts, or if your tech skills are a little lacking even just a text version would work well.

 

  • Ask for what you want

If you think the key to getting people to stick around is to get them on your email list, then ask people to join.  They are much more likely to carry out your wishes if you ask them to do a certain thing.

 

  • Invitations to subscribe to your blog prominent places

Email lists should be a bigger deal than most of us think they are.  Imagine if Twitter suddenly started charging us for all our tweets or Instagram shut down (god forbid!)? My point is that you don’t own these social networks and they can be one of the biggest ways your blog links with your audience, but you do own your email list.  Also there is also something more personal about your content being delivered into a persons email inbox.

 

  • Offer alternative subscription methods

We all have our preferences and while someone may like the posts emailed, someone else might prefer to subscribe to an RSS feed or through Bloglovin.  So offer people multiple ways in which they can keep in touch with your blog.

 

  • Incentive to subscribe

You could think about offering an incentive to subscribe; giving readers some sort of free content if they sign up.  This is not always hugely beneficial, but once they are on your list you have a least got a chance of keeping them there.  Some people will sign up, receive the free content, then unsubscribe, but there is a chance some of them will stick around.

 

  • Add subscribe to comments or use comment luv

You can install a plugin, which will give the reader an option to click to receive follow up comments or you can use the comment luv plugin which emails readers the responses to their comment. This allows the conversation to keep going and relationships to be built.

 

  • Respond to comments

I think for blogger this point is the killer, responding to comments.  As I type this I have about two weeks worth of comments on my blog to respond to and about five days of Instagram ones; the time it takes me to respond to these I simply haven’t got right now.  I do think, however, that responding to comments both on blog and social media is really important and does help to create a community around what you are doing with your blog.

 

  • Write valuable (lean) content

We all know valuable content is important. Rarely will someone be enthralled at the fact that you had fish fingers for your dinner, but they would love to know how you make your homemade low fat fish fingers.  Provide people will helpful posts, you can even make posts that are more family focused an interesting and useful post too.  By lean I mean don’t go on a ramble, keep the fluff to a minimum.  People’s time is precious and they don’t want to spend it reading things that aren’t relevant to them.

 

There you have it, the first part of my how to create a sticky blog, check back next Tuesday for part two containing even more tips and tricks.

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Showing 37 comments
  • Mim
    Reply

    Thanks for this lovely! I’m working hard on trying to apply all of the above – I’m finding with internal links on posts and sidebars, footers etc, there’s apparently a balance to be had in having enough to be effective but not too many that you appear spammy. If you can add anything on this in your next post (which you’ve probably already written as you’re Super Blogger!) then that would be amazing! x x

  • Julie S.
    Reply

    I haven’t heard the sticky blogging term before this week, and now I’m seeing it everywhere heh. These are great tips, I’m working on becoming “sticky” and I think (hope) I’m doing these things correctly:)

  • Natalie Cox
    Reply

    I am loving your blogging tips – I finally joined Twitter yesterday and had to get your twitter post up to help me!! Some great advice x

  • Bek Dillydrops
    Reply

    Fantastic tips! I will look forward to the next instalment 🙂 It is great to get to get advice on how to improve. Thank you 🙂

  • Jess
    Reply

    Great post, lots of helpful tips! I’ll be using these more definitely, there just isn’t enough time in the world! Looking forward to reading more ☺

  • Sammy
    Reply

    I only heard the term ‘sticky blog’ a few weeks ago, fab tips as always! xx

  • Kate Tunstall
    Reply

    Hi Aby!

    Amazing advice – i can’t believe i didn’t know about Shareaholic! I’ll be adding that plug in this weekend. Thank you! Have a lovely weekend. X

    #TheList

  • Emma
    Reply

    This is such a useful post with some really great tips. Thanks for sharing 🙂 #thelist

  • wendy
    Reply

    I have never heard of a sticky blog before. I definitely need to make a few changes to mine to make it a bit more sticky. I am going to go check out shareaholic now. Great tips xx

  • Lisa (mummascribbles)
    Reply

    Ohhhhh I so needed this post! My goal this year is to get and retain more readers, so tips like this is just what I need! Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom once again. Oh and I’m with you on the comments thing – having a week of flu set me back massively and I still have loads to respond to! #TheList

  • Lisa Backsnbumps
    Reply

    Great tips I hadn’t heard of the term ‘sticky blog’ before but it does make perfect sense. Will be looking at shareaholic

  • Claire at Life Love and Dirty Dishes
    Reply

    Great post as always. Building my e-mail subscribers is next on my list. Do you recommend any good plugins for this? #TheList

  • Katie
    Reply

    really useful once again. Thanks aby

    #thelist

  • Lizzie Somerset
    Reply

    Great tips Aby, rarely to I suggest people read other posts of mine at the bottom or in the text. I will definitely look at doing that. My blog is still small so I can answer all of my comments, it must be hard to keep up with all of yours! Lizzie xo

  • An imperfect mum (Catie)
    Reply

    I love the idea of a sticky blog. I must admit I worry about attracting ‘real’ readers you know readers beyond our amazing community of bloggers. I also worry about making my blog less niche as I want people to see it is not just relevant to special needs parents. I am sure I am guilty of an occasional ramble too. OOOppps. Love your tips as always, thank you!

  • Babylists
    Reply

    Very useful thanks!

  • Michelle
    Reply

    I never heard to the sticky blog term before but it sounds like things I already do. I’m almost 8 months in though and have a long way to go and a lot more to learn. Love the tips! #thelist

  • Kat
    Reply

    What would I do without your blog tips? You honestly help me so much! There are some great points here. I’ve fallen out of love with my blog design so will be changing things up really soon x #thelist

  • Sara at Handy Herbs
    Reply

    Some really useful tips here Aby. Thanks for sharing them! 🙂 #TheList

  • Crummy Mummy
    Reply

    I’d like to think I do all these things – or hope I do!! #thelist

  • Laura's Lovely Blog
    Reply

    So many bloggers don’t have subscribe to comments and I really enjoy to see replies. Great advice #thelist

  • Silly Mummy
    Reply

    Great tips. I’ve been wanting to work out how to do related posts at the bottom for ages. Of course there is a plugin – should have thought of that! Thanks! My bounce rate was pretty good, but in recent weeks I’ve had some big referral traffic (by my standards) from stumble. Which has been great for my traffic, but has decimated the bounce rate! I have found that on rare occasions I have had something do really well on facebook too. They are definitely two good traffic referrers, but people do just read the particular post – it’s a tough balance! #thelist

  • Elaine
    Reply

    As always, really handy useful tips from you! I have so much to learn, I feel like such an amateur still! xx #thelist

  • Adele Clarke
    Reply

    Great tips as always, Aby! Looking forward to the next installment. #TheList x

  • Lucy Melissa Smith (Hello Beautiful Bear)
    Reply

    So many fabulous tips! I have been checking each one against my blog and I think I have a few things to brush up on which is great as I love to keep things improving and growing 🙂 Thanks for sharing X

  • Katie LifeonVistaStreet Haydock
    Reply

    Great advice, I couldn’t agree more. I love when I’ve been reading someone’s blog for years and when you finally meet them in real life you can actually hear their voice through their bog thereafter. Wonderful science xXx
    #thelist

  • The Aspiring Yummy Mummy
    Reply

    Thanks for sharing your tips! Definitely going to incorporate a few of these into my new posts. X

  • Georgina Whitehead
    Reply

    Fabulous tips and advice. I will be checking out some new plug in and making my blog posts a bit more Sticky…thanks for sharing. see you next week 😉

  • seychellesmama
    Reply

    love this! thanks for the tips!!

  • Laura
    Reply

    Another fantastic post, Aby, giving me lots of food for thought and things to check! 🙂 Thanks for sharing x #thelist

  • Sarah Stockley (
    Reply

    I love reading your blog! I have a fairly small following of loyal readers now, most seem to come back – but I’ll be following your tips. Sarah #TheList

  • Su {Ethan & Evelyn}
    Reply

    I did put up Share your popular posts in my sidebar once but decided to take it off as my system doesn’t have rotating pictures. I will need to look into that more. Thank you for the tips. 🙂

  • Bear and Cardigan
    Reply

    Lots of really useful tips that I try to do! I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to answer all your comments, there just is never enough time #thelist

  • Madeline
    Reply

    Really useful, thank you! You’ve given me some really great tips of more things I can do to make my blog better/more user-friendly! x #TheList

  • Fionnuala
    Reply

    I am doing a major overhaul of my blog layout and features, so some of these tips will come in handy over the next week or so. Thanks Aby.

  • Bakkah Inc.
    Reply

    nice to meet you , & thank you! You’ve given me some really great tips of more things I can do to make my blog better/more user

  • The Mum Project
    Reply

    Ah yes excellent list! Especially responding to comments (which I really need to get on right now! ) haha #tribalchat

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